Army Veteran Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of Georgia Tech Graduate

An Army veteran who sparked a nationwide manhunt after he brutally killed a Smyrna woman will spend at least 30 years in prison.

Brian Marsh Semrinec, 25, pleaded guilty Monday to malice murder in the 2017 death of Shuyi Li, 28. The two had worked together at a business in Canton and had been in a relationship, though one tainted by domestic violence, the Cobb County District’s Office said.

Li, a Chinese national who earned her master’s degree at Georgia Tech in 2016, died of multiple sharp-force and blunt-force wounds to her head and neck.

In September 2017, Cobb County police checked on Li’s home after she failed to show up for work. Officers found her body wrapped in a blanket and partially buried underneath a mound of spices and other items, the district attorney’s office said.

She was last seen alive two days earlier. Li’s 2015 Honda CR-V and her credit cards were also missing from her apartment. Police said Semrinec stole Li’s car, used her credit cards at several gas stations and grocery stories, and drove to a Veterans Affairs hospital in Dallas, Texas for a mental health check-up.

Semrinec told a security guard there that he had killed his girlfriend, the district attorney’s office said. Semrinec told the court on Monday that he was a veteran of the U.S. Army and had served in Afghanistan. A psychological evaluation requested by the defense found no competency or insanity issues.

“By all accounts, Shuyi Li was a remarkable young woman. Her loss deeply impacted not only her family members, but members of the community who knew her,” said Jesse Evans, chief assistant district attorney, who prosecuted the case. “We are just so appreciative of the overwhelming show of support we received from family and friends as we worked with our law enforcement partners to bring this prosecution to a successful conclusion on their behalf.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge A. Gregory Poole accepted Semrinec’s guilty plea to malice murder and sentenced him to life in prison.

He must serve 30 years before he will be eligible for parole consideration.

SOURCE: WSB-TV Atlanta – Chris Jose